Six Graduate From Jail Chemical Addiction Program
By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Six men graduated from the Kosciusko County Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP) during a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 7.
The program was launched in 2018 to address substance abuse issues suffered by many inmates and involves participation in classes that cover areas such as physical fitness, spirituality, life skills, leadership and financial counseling.
Friday’s graduates, who received certificates of completion and CPR certification cards at the ceremony, were: Kenny Ferguson, Travis Henson, Braxton King, Jason Rohrer, Christopher Stern and Jacob Stidham.
Wearing black T-shirts with Proverbs 27:17 printed on the back, each of the six graduates thanked the individuals and organizations that provided mentoring, teaching and programming during their time in the JCAP program.
Braxton King, a JCAP graduate, recalled an instance where the group was watching “The Star,” an animated movie about the birth of Jesus Christ. In the movie, the lead character, a donkey, saves a group of dogs who had previously tried to hurt him. King compared the protagonist to Luke Neer, who led the graduates through fitness classes; and the group of dogs to the JCAP participants.
“We were the bad dogs with our heads down in shame,” said King. “He showed us how to hold our heads high and how to be a warrior, and a warrior through Jesus Christ. He calls us friends and tells us he loves us. And we love him.”
A packed room of mentors, county and city officials, judges, and police officers attended the ceremony in support of the graduates.
“I’m always so grateful and overwhelmed to see people (community members) come back again and again for these graduations,” said JCAP Coordinator Courtney Jenkins. “While it’s always the same program, it’s different people and they’ve put the same work in. This group has worked really, really hard and I have been incredibly grateful to watch them come together. All six of them are a family. It makes me really proud to watch them care for and work with each other, to strengthen one another.”
Following the graduates’ speeches, Jenkins, Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes, Jail Commander Shane Coney, and Kosciusko County Work Release Director Heather Desenberg presented the men with their certificates of completion.
Community organizations and individuals who contributed to programming for January’s graduating class were LifeWorks Counseling and Consulting; The Beaman Home; Kosciusko County Purdue Extension Office; Warsaw Community Schools’ adult education program; 1st Source Bank; New Life Christian Church and World Outreach; Don Swartzentruber; Fellowship Missions; Tyler Silveus; Before5.org; Luke Neer; CORE Mechanical; Work Force Education; WorkOne; Ivy Tech; Quality Correctional Case; the City of Warsaw; and the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office.